These are the 10 best-selling science books in the UK on the 6th of January 2014.
1. In Rude Health: The funniest and most explicit stories from the NHS by Robbie Guillory
From the man with a device lodged far inside his body whose batteries refuse to run out to a woman with a plunger super-glued to her vagina, In Rude Health recounts real life tales from the coal face of the NHS. From doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, psychiatrists and dentists come a range of eye-popping, side-splitting acts of misadventure that have had the medical profession weeping into their face masks as they attended to members of the great British public in their hour of need. From the publishers of UK Booksellers Association Top 5 Christmas book, 101 Uses of a Dead Kindle, In Rude Health is a riotous account of the weird, the warped and the whacky ways we end up in the hands of the medical profession.
2. The Reason I Jump: one boy’s voice from the silence of autism by Naoki Higashida (Author), David Mitchell (Translator)
Written by Naoki Higashida when he was only thirteen, this remarkable book provides rare insight into the often baffling behaviour of autistic children. Using a question and answer format, Naoki explains things like why he talks loudly or repeats the same questions, what causes him to have panic attacks, and why he likes to jump. He also shows the way he thinks and feels about his world – other people, nature, time and beauty, and himself. Abundantly proving that people with autism do possess imagination, humour and empathy, he also makes clear how badly they need our compassion, patience and understanding. David Mitchell and his wife have translated Naoki’s book so that it might help others dealing with autism and generally illuminate a little-understood condition. It gives us an exceptional chance to enter the mind of another and see the world from a strange and fascinating perspective. The book also features eleven original illustrations, inspired by Naoki’s words, by the artistic duo Kai and Sunny.
3. All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot
The inspiration for the BBC series of the same name. Fresh out of Glasgow Veterinary College, to the young James Herriot 1930s Yorkshire seems to offers an idyllic pocket of rural life in a rapidly changing world. But from his erratic new colleagues, brothers Siegfried and Tristan Farnon, to incomprehensible farmers, herds of semi-feral cattle, a pig called Nugent and an overweight Pekingese called Tricki Woo, James find he is on a learning curve as steep as the hills around him. And when he meets Helen, the beautiful daughter of a local farmer, all the training and experience in the world can’t help him…Since they were first published, James Herriot’s memoirs have sold millions of copies and entranced generations of animal lovers. Charming, funny and touching, All Creatures Great and Small is a heart-warming story of determination, love and companionship from one of Britain’s best-loved authors.
4. 365 Steps to Self-Confidence by David Lawrence Preston
Confidence is crucial to a happy and fulfilling life. And yet many of us lack confidence and self-belief. As a result, we are less adventurous and less likely to get the most out of life. This book is a carefully structured, daily programme covering the following areas: * Deciding to be confident * Harnessing self-awareness * How to think confidently * Using your imagination to improve your self-image * How to act with confidence * Communicating with confidence. Each of the 52 sections contains information, insights and words of inspiration, plus seven exercises and practical hints or points to ponder. Fifteen minutes a day will give you tools and techniques which have worked for millions of people around the world. If you read the material carefully and apply what you learn, you really will notice big changes taking place within two or three months. A year from now you’ll be amazed at how much more confident you’ve become.
5. God’s Philosophers: How the Medieval World Laid the Foundations of Modern Science by James Hannam
A powerful and thrilling narrative history revealing the roots of modern science in the medieval world. The adjective ‘medieval’ has become a synonym for brutality and uncivilised behaviour. Yet without the work of medieval scholars there could have been no Galileo, no Newton and no Scientific Revolution. In God’s Philosophers, James Hannam debunks many of the myths about the Middle Ages, showing that medieval people did not think the earth was flat, nor did Columbus ‘prove’ that it is a sphere; the Inquisition burnt nobody for their science nor was Copernicus afraid of persecution; no Pope tried to ban human dissection or the number zero. God’s Philosophers is a celebration of the forgotten scientific achievements of the Middle Ages – advances which were often made thanks to, rather than in spite of, the influence of Christianity and Islam. Decisive progress was also made in technology: spectacles and the mechanical clock, for instance, were both invented in thirteenth-century Europe. Charting an epic journey through six centuries of history, God’s Philosophers brings back to light the discoveries of neglected geniuses like John Buridan, Nicole Oresme and Thomas Bradwardine, as well as putting into context the contributions of more familiar figures like Roger Bacon, William of Ockham and Saint Thomas Aquinas.
6. The British: A Genetic Journey by Alistair Moffat
Hidden inside all of us – every human being on Earth – is the story of our ancestry. Printed on our DNA are the origins of our lineages, the time in history and prehistory when they arose, and the epic journeys people have made across the globe. Based on exciting new research involving the most wide-ranging sampling of DNA ever made in Britain, Alistair Moffat, author of the bestselling The Scots: A Genetic Journey, shows how all of us who live on these islands are immigrants. The last ice age erased any trace of more ancient inhabitants, and the ancestors of everyone who now lives in Britain came here after the glaciers retreated and the land greened once more. In an epic narrative, sometimes moving, sometimes astonishing, always revealing, Moffat writes an entirely new history of Britain. Instead of the usual parade of the usual suspects – kings, queens, saints, warriors and the notorious – this is a people’s history, a narrative made from stories only DNA can tell which offers insights into who we are and where we come from.
7. An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth by Chris Hadfield
Colonel Chris Hadfield has spent decades training as an astronaut and has logged nearly 4,000 hours in space. During this time he has broken into a Space Station with a Swiss army knife, disposed of a live snake while piloting a plane, been temporarily blinded while clinging to the exterior of an orbiting spacecraft, and become a YouTube sensation with his performance of David Bowie’s ‘Space Oddity’ in space. The secret to Chris Hadfield’s success – and survival – is an unconventional philosophy he learned at NASA: prepare for the worst – and enjoy every moment of it. In his book, An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth, Chris Hadfield takes readers deep into his years of training and space exploration to show how to make the impossible possible. Through eye-opening, entertaining stories filled with the adrenaline of launch, the mesmerizing wonder of spacewalks and the measured, calm responses mandated by crises, he explains how conventional wisdom can get in the way of achievement – and happiness. His own extraordinary education in space has taught him some counterintuitive lessons: don’t visualize success, do care what others think, and always sweat the small stuff. You might never be able to build a robot, pilot a spacecraft, make a music video or perform basic surgery in zero gravity like Colonel Hadfield. But his vivid and refreshing insights in this book will teach you how to think like an astronaut, and will change, completely, the way you view life on Earth – especially your own.
8. Call Me Sister: District Nursing Tales from the Swinging Sixties by Jane Yeadon
Who’d have thought a missing bacon rasher and a teaspoon would play a part in advancing someone’s career? It’s the late ’60s and Jane Yeadon has always wanted to be a district nurse. Staff nursing in a ward where she’s challenged by an inventorydriven ward sister, she reckons it’s time to swap such trivialities for life as a district nurse. Independent thinking is one thing, but Jane’s about to find that the drama on district can demand instant reaction; and without hospital back up, she’s usually the one having to provide it. She meets a rich cast of patients all determined to follow their own individual star, and goes to Edinburgh where Queen Victoria’s Jubilee Institute’s nurse training is considered the crème de la crème of the district nursing world. Call Me Sister recalls Jane’s challenging and often hilarious route to realising her own particular dream.
9. The Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secrets by Simon Singh
Some have seen philosophy embedded in episodes of The Simpsons; others have detected elements of psychology and religion. Simon Singh, bestselling author of Fermat’s Last Theorem, The Code Book and The Big Bang, instead makes the compelling case that what The Simpsons’ writers are most passionate about is mathematics. He reveals how the writers have drip-fed morsels of number theory into the series over the last twenty-five years; indeed, there are so many mathematical references in The Simpsons, and in its sister program, Futurama, that they could form the basis of an entire university course. Using specific episodes as jumping off points – from ‘Bart the Genius’ to ‘Treehouse of Horror VI’ – Simon Singh brings to life the most intriguing and meaningful mathematical concepts, ranging from pi and the paradox of infinity to the origins of numbers and the most profound outstanding problems that haunt today’s generation of mathematicians. In the process, he introduces us to The Simpsons’ brilliant writing team – the likes of Ken Keeler, Al Jean, Jeff Westbrook, and Stewart Burns – who are not only comedy geniuses, but who also hold advanced degrees in mathematics. This eye-opening book will give anyone who reads it an entirely new mathematical insight into the most successful show in television history.
10. The Epigenetics Revolution: How Modern Biology is Rewriting our Understanding of Genetics, Disease and Inheritance by Nessa Carey
At the beginning of this century enormous progress had been made in genetics. The Human Genome Project finished sequencing human DNA. It seemed it was only a matter of time until we had all the answers to the secrets of life on this planet. The cutting-edge of biology, however, is telling us that we still don’t even know all of the questions. It turns out that cells read the genetic code in DNA more like a script to be interpreted than a mould that replicates the same result each time. This is epigenetics and it’s the fastest-moving field in biology today. The Epigenetics Revolution traces the thrilling path this discipline has taken over the last twenty years. Biologist Nessa Carey deftly explains such diverse phenomena as how queen bees and ants control their colonies, why tortoiseshell cats are always female, why some plants need a period of cold before they can flower, why we age, develop disease and become addicted to drugs, and much more. Most excitingly, Carey reveals the amazing possibilities for humankind that epigenetics offers for us all – and in the surprisingly near future.
[Adapted from data from Amazon.co.uk]